The reasons why your property isn't selling

The number one goal for every savvy property investor would be to sell your property and make a profit. What happens when your property has been on the market for awhile?

We speak with real estate agents, property photographers and property stylists to gather their opinions on why your property might not be selling, and how you can improve the chances of a sale.

Just Think Real Estate’s licensee in charge Edwin Almeida told Property Observer the main reason for properties that are not selling is a price expectation that is “way too high”.

“The mainstream media are talking up the property market. They’re saying the market has been hot, so expectations are very high at the moment,” he said.

In addition to unrealistic expectations, another reason for unsuccessful sales could be a property’s underlying issues, such as contamination or defects.

“For example, for an old weatherboard home there could be asbestos issues – there would be very little value in the building; the value’s more on the land and reflected in the price.

Or the property may be in a different zone, and waiting for a rezoning,” Almeida said.

He added that issues with road access could also impact the value of the property.

However, he notes that the market adjusts itself.

“It is up to the agent to keep the vendor informed and assist them in keeping up with the market trends. Vendors should take a more objective approach instead of being subjective,” he said.

While he understands that vendors may have an emotional attachment to a property and therefore take an objective view, he emphasises that buyers “are buying more on facts and figures as opposed to emotion”.

Conversely, if the vendor is not under financial constraints, Almeida finds that they will often stay as long as they like as they are hoping to get the price they want.

“If they (the vendors) are not under financial stress, why not? Stay there for as long as you want – there are new purchases on the market every week anyway,” he said.

Besides pricing and other underlying issues, marketing is also an important aspect.

Property photographer Aysha Harburn told Property Observer that the goal of a property photographer is to capture to best aspect of the property and focus on that.

“If you've got good photos that show the property in its best light, that’s obviously going to attract more buyers to that home,” she said.

She added that good photos could reinforce the value of the property.

“After someone walks away from viewing a home at an inspection, they'll want to look at the photos again – the photos really do help with that,” she said.

She provides some tips for taking better photos of your property:

  • Presentation is everything – Move as many personal items as possible and store them somewhere, as prospective buyers like to be able to imagine themselves in that space. 
  • Declutter. Minimalise the number of objects around, and ensure surfaces are clear.
  • Make sure the garden is presentable.
  • For older properties, a fresh lick of paint can make a difference.
  • Consider whether to use twilight photography. Often twilight photography can bring a property to life, and can make a difference with how the property looks.

Besides photography, great property styling could also make a difference. Property stylist Amanda Ayres stated on her website that “Property Styling is a proven method of selling your home faster, for a better price. Whilst the average clearance rate in Melbourne over 2012 was around 60%, our clients acheived a 93% clearance rate at auction over this period.”

She notes that the way a room is used is important as prospective buyers walk into a room and think about how their lifestyle can fit into the space. 

“For example, if a bedroom has been used for storage or as a study, people struggle to think about if a queen bed can fit in there,” she said.

Property styling will also help to display the lifestyle one can enjoy in the space. Great photography will help get the attention of prospective property buyers and prompt them to attend the open inspection. 

“One of the most important things is getting people to the open inspection. The more people coming for the inspection, the higher the chances the property will sell,” she said.

She adds that quality styling can help prospective buyers who attend open inspections develop an attachment to the space.

“The more people you can get attracted to the property, there’s a higher chance of getting it sold within a shorter timeframe,” she said.

Diane Leow

Diane Leow

Diane has spent her entire career in the world of digital. She is passionate about delivering the best content to a world that is becoming increasingly jaded by the news. She also believes in the importance of great journalism and how it can change the world. Oh, she also drinks a lot of coffee.

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